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The group ecclesiastical parish of Sheepy now contains the Ancient Parishes of Sibson, Orton-on-the-Hill, Twycross and Sheepy Magna as well as the Chapelry of Ratcliffe Culey, the pastoral care being in the hands of one vicar. The vicar is responsible for the fabric of four other ancient churches as well as All Saints Sheepy Magna, an onerous responsibility. Please remember this if visiting these churches and give generously they are our heritage. The boundary of the present civil parish is slightly different Ratcliffe Culey being in concert with Atterton, Witherley and Fenny Drayton.

The ancient parish of Sheepy Magna included the villages of Sheepy Parva, Pinwall, Ratcliffe Culey and the Mythe. Sheepy Parva and The Mythe had chapels of ease served occasionally by the monks of the Cistercian Abbey at Merevale the chapelry at Ratcliffe Culey having a perpetual ministry  served by its own chaplain. By the 13th century these several ministries  were formalized into North, (borealis) and South, (australis) medieties,  each with their own rector and this arrangement  existed until they were consolidated into one rectory in the 1851 by act of parliament.  The South Mediety comprised of Ratcliffe Culey and the Mythe, the North Mediety the remainder.  The rectors were supposedly required to swap positions on Palm Sunday each year but examining the registers from 1560 does not confirm that the ministries were in fact swapped. I suspect that the arrangement was effectively a fiscal one where by the income from the great and lesser tithes alternated.

 From the 16th century Sheepy Parish  was divided into three sections for poor law rates and tithes etc., Sheepy Magna (1593 acres including the hamlet of Pinwall), Sheepy Parva (582 acres) and Ratcliffe Culey (1192 acres). Both Sheepy Parva and Ratcliffe Culey were classed as Chapelries but only Ratcliffe had it's own Chapel of ease. A substantial area was extra parochial served by the parish church of Merevale, formally the gate Chapel of Merevale Abbey.

If we compare what is known of the patrons there does not appear to be a correlation between the two Sheepy manors and the advowsons although at times they were held by the same people. The Rectories therefore do not appear to be annexed to the manors. See here for a list of Rectors and patrons extracted from various sources.

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Revised 05/04/2011
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North Mediety South Mediety
Period Rector Patron Period Rector Patron
1220   Richard de Harcourt 1220 Henry Fitz-Walkelin William Fitzwilliam
      1267 William de la Lee  
      1286 John Launcelyn  
1288 William Burdet
1303 Robert de Sheepeye
 circa 1310  Nicholas Harecourt  John de Harcourt 1310   Nicholas Burdet
1370 Philip de Drayton Thomas de Astleley
John Kynge
 1422    John Bate 14?? Richard Burdet  
1493 Thomas Holte William Astley 1493 William Astley
1531 John Astley Richard Astley 1531 Richard Astley
1534 Hugh Astley Thomas Astley 1534 John Vincent Thomas Astley
1564 Richard Morgan   1564 Richard Edwards  
1617 Richard Array Richard Array 1614 Richard King John Bettison
1639 Richard Johnson   1630 Thomas Oldale  
1644 Richard Array (jnr)   1642 Gregory Kent  
1679 Thomas Fowler   1686 George Vincent  
      1707 John Stileman  
1710 William Vincent Elizabeth Vincent (wid) 1712 William Vincent Elizabeth Vincent (wid)
1741 Silvester Vincent   1741 Silvester Vincent  
1760 Thomas Whitehead Bishop of Lincoln 1758 William Biddle Thomas & Elizabeth Gresley and Hannah Vincent
1768 William Williams Edward Wolferstan 1765 John Williams Robert Evans
1771 William Fell   1768 William Fell  Edward Wolferston
1807 Thomas Cotton Fell John Lane 1807 Thomas Cotton Fell John Lane
Period Rector of new combined Rectory
1851 Thomas Cotton Fell
1856 Thomas Fell
1867 Joseph Harris
1881 John Edwin Fell
1888 William George Southwell
1929 Griffith Mathews
1942 John Eric Rigg
1952 Arthur McCulley